Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Black Sheep : Here's Another Asshole (from North South East West 12")
Black Sheep : Here's Another Asshole (Mercury, 1994)
Roxanne Shante : Def Fresh Crew (Pop Art, 1985)
It's crazy how things have changed in hip-hop in a couple of years. In the 90's the worst thing you could say about a rapper was to call him a sell out. Now the ultimate insult is playa hater. Back then the price to pay for selling out was to have KRS One bumrushing you off stage or to have your lookalike getting his ass kicked in a 3rd bass video. If you're a sell out in 2006 you can expect to be on the cover of XXL every other month and to have Busta Rhymes in your remix.
Selling out is the norm now but in the late 80's, when rappers were artists, the sudden change operated by MC Hammer from mediocre rap to pop shocked the rap world. The idea that someone would dumb down his music only to sell ten million records was not very popular among hip hop purists. Well, actually there was no such thing as hip hop purist back then : if you were into hip hop, you had to be a purist.
In the early 90's everyone had a rhyme dissing Hammer from A Tribe Called Quest to Tim Dog and LL Cool J. Shit, even Vanilla Ice dissed him ! Right after the Adams Family soundtrack and before he filed for bankruptcy Hammer managed to release a record that was supposed to take him back to his nitty-gritty roots, with a little help from Suge Knight and the Dogg Pound. "The Funky Headhunter" was his way of responding to some of the people who dropped his name in their rhymes. Nobody bought the album, but rumor says that he was dissing Q-Tip, Warren G, Kriss Kross, Redman, Run DMC, MC Serch, Rodney O and Dres from Black Sheep.
One would wonder if it really makes sense to battle a guy like MC Hammer, especially in 1994, when no one cared about him anymore. But when you grew up on hip hop you know that you can't let a diss record unanswered. So Dres and Mista Lawnge went back to the studio to cut this really nasty dis record called Here's Another Asshole . It appeared on the North South East West, which is also the last Black Sheep record to this day. The beat box on H.A.A. is actually a sampled loop of Biz Markie's only decent beat-box performance on a record.